Is it just me, or is everyone selling something online these days?
Everywhere I turn, I'm seeing so many posts of friends, family and acquaintances putting themselves out there to better their lives and make a future for their family, and I couldn't be prouder! I wish I could buy from everyone running a business, but it's just not possible. Some services don't apply to me, some products I am not willing to pay quality prices for and some things I'm just not that interested in. Does anyone else feel this way?
There IS something you CAN do to help!
Five things actually! Here are my 5 ways to support your friends new business, without buying a thing!
1. BE POSITIVE
Seems silly to say it, doesn't it? I know, it seems so obvious, right?!
You may be surprised to find, however, that a lot of new business brave-hearts are met with negative comments and "warnings" from their friends and family.
"You cant do that" "Thats too hard" "Thats an industry you need to KNOW top people" "Thats a scheme" "Most businesses fail you know", and so on...
People start businesses everyday; they work hard, and in industries where they know no one (at first). Many people make serious money from network marketing and people still call those schemes. And many people succeed in business! Yes, many people DO fail in business too, BUT...
Failure is a just stepping stone in the direction to success. Failure is an opportunity to learn and build something better, then come back stronger and wiser.
What the nay-sayers are REALLY saying is "I wouldn't do that" "I wouldn't work that hard" and "I'm afraid to fail" and then projecting those fears onto those of us who are brave enough to try.
What can we do?
Be supportive. Tell them they are awesome, tell them they are brave, tell them you admire their commitment. Keep any self limiting beliefs to yourself and let your friend or loved one know you are in their corner and you've got their back.
A few kind words can really go a long way! I promise you!
2. LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE
I find it interesting that on social media we will like your morning inspirational post, comment on your baby shower picture, and share that adorable puppy video... but we shy away from interacting on our friends business posts. Why?
LIKE that product pic!
COMMENT on that business post!
and SHARE that video/live!
You don't have to buy your friends products and services but by simply interacting with their business page, groups and posts, you can help them immensely! You may not be interested in their products or services, but others ARE! Help your friend spread their messages by interacting with their posts! LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE. Your friend will get more exposure and all you had to do was click.
3. ATTEND [ONLINE] PARTIES
OK so you've told your friend you want to help them "promote your business", so what can you do to help? "Host a party" they say.
Hear me out. This task may seem daunting at first but it can turn our really good! Getting together with girlfriends is always a blast, but this is also a chance to connect your friend's business with people you know, that they don't know; your neighbour, your kids best friends mom, your colleague, your brothers girlfriend. Adding a few fresh faces and personalities to your gathering will be fun.
Keep it simple. Have some snacks, let your friend "do their thing" and enjoy each other's company! You will be happy you did, and so will your friend!
Have you heard? There's a new kid in town.
Have you heard about online parties yet? Or been invited to one? I love that businesses are doing this right now! Instead of hosting a party in your home and having to invite people over to see some new products, you can just join a party online. I know right? Mind Blown!
I've attended many Facebook Event "Parties", chilling in my PJs... with my kids running around me... while I'm sipping my coffee and following along on my laptop or tablet. Theres no need to dress up, or feed anyone, or clean house for guests.
So, Now what do I do?
Just like above, interaction is key. Help get the party going by engaging on the posts, presentation, or live. LIKE, click, ASK questions, post comments, show some hearts. Your participation will encourage others to do so too. Yeah thats right. You've got the power! Use it for GOOD and you friend will be eternally grateful, (maybe even grateful enough to dish out some samples?)... see Number 4
4. FREEBIES & TESTIMONIALS
Many businesses that sell products will also have free samples. Ask your friend if they have some samples you can try. In exchange you can offer them a testimonial. Let them document you and your opinions on that product. Let your friend take a video of you describing your experience using their product or your experience using their service. If you are not comfortable with video, then choose your favourite photo and provide that to your friend to use with a brief statement about your experience.
No samples? No problem!
If your friend doesn't have samples, thats OK, you can still help!
Maybe they sell clothing or accessories for example, then offer to model some products for them. They will need "REAL" photos of their products and you can give a testimonial on your favourite piece, the quality, and how it made you feel to wear it.
So, maybe your friend offers a service, and you can't try it. You can still give a "character reference" testimonial. Tell the world how amazing your friend is, how you've known them for ages and they'd give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. Tell us about how smart, reliable, dependable, driven and ambitious this person is. Having someone vouch for you is incredibly valuable! After all... people are more likely to buy from people they like, or feel like they know, or can relate to in some way so help us get to know how awesome your friend is!
So let's review;
* you've congratulated your friend,
* liked commented and shared their posts on social media,
* you've attended and participated in their event,
* and you've tried their product and gave a testimonial
What else could you possibly do to show your support without buying anything?
Be a brand ambassador! Brag up your friend to people in your other circles. Who knows? Maybe your hairdresser or co-worker or someone on your softball team would like to know more about those products or services.
So, grab a handful of their business cards, stickers, brochures and keep them in your car or in your purse, and pass them out. I'm not saying go stuff one in every windshield wiper in the parking lot of your local mall... but when an opportunity hits and a conversation of relevance comes about, you have something on you to give.
It's kinda of like playing matchmaker, but your matching customers with your friends awesome business. You will earn some serious friendship points for this one!
So there you have it.
You are officially the BEST FRIEND EVER!!! and you didn't even have to buy a thing!